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ASO ROCK WATCH: Horse-trading over APC consensus presidential candidate heightens

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President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, urged presidential aspirants under the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reach a consensus, and bring up a formidable candidate that would fly the flag of the party in the 2023 presidential election.

One other story from the presidency caught our attention.

Horse-trading over consensus candidate

President Buhari, on June 4, spoke to APC presidential aspirants on the need for the party to go with the consensus option in the selection of a candidate.

According to a statement credited to the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari was quoted to have said:

“Without prejudice to your qualifications, I urge all of you to hold consultations amongst yourselves and with the party, with a view to building a consensus in a manner that will help the party reduce the number of aspirants, bring up a formidable candidate and scale down the anxiety of party members.”

The search for a consensus candidate underscores the fierce internal struggles within the ruling party, which is now exemplified by the unwillingness of aspirants to step down for one another.

The larger intrigues have led to the purported emergence of Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as a favoured aspirant, with the APC chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, fingered as chief executor of the plan.

Read also: ASO ROCK WATCH: On Buhari’s investment in education. Two other talking points

The move has since placed him at loggerheads with APC northern Governors and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) who insist that Adamu is acting alone.

In this political chess game, the President is reportedly feigning ignorance, and positing that the race is open to all, and that no one has been anointed.

No doubt, the game is on with northern Governors of the ruling party holding on to their position that the presidency should be zoned to the south.

What, perhaps, is arguable is that Adamu may not be acting on his own, as the President has been regarded as the ‘super delegate’ who, only recently, gave clear indications that he desired to choose his successor, having allowed the state governors to lord it over their own territories.

The convention will certainly produce the proverbial night of long knives. What cannot be denied at this point is that the Adamu camp currently enjoys the first-mover advantage with their candidate, Ahmed Lawan, enjoying the limelight while other aspirants are doing some sort of catch-up.

Is the ruling party set to implode? The days ahead will tell.

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